NCF Nation: Pac-12-qa-090712

Q&A: Arizona's Austin Hill

September, 7, 2012
9/07/12
4:00
PM ET
Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill provided us with one of the best plays in the country last week, laying out for a 30-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of the Wildcats' 24-17 overtime win against Toledo. He finished with seven catches for 139 yards. This week he prepares for Oklahoma State -- a team that beat the Wildcats handily last year, though Hill produced season highs against the Cowboys. He took a few minutes to chat with the Pac-12 blog about the Week 1 win and the Week 2 challenge.

You had the catch of the week in the conference. Take us through that play and how it all unfolded.

[+] EnlargeAustin Hill
Matt Kartozian/US PresswireArizona's Austin Hill dives to catch a 30-yard TD pass against Toledo in the season opener.
Austin Hill: Toledo gave us the coverage that we wanted. When I was running my route, the safety stepped down, so I took it over the top of him. It was more like a read. I put my hand up and was happy that Matt [Scott] saw it and threw it. I was a little scared, because I thought he overthrew me at first. When I saw the ball, I knew I was going to have to dive for it. I dove and it stuck.

You're 6-foot-3. If you're 6-foot-2, you don't make that catch.

AH: Yeah. Very true, very true.

Overall, your assessment of the offense against Toledo. You put up some big yards, but you had some turnovers and put the ball on the ground a couple of times. What were your thoughts?

AH: Overall, I think we were moving the ball well. We had over 600 yards, but not the points to show. There were a lot of mental mistakes. I put the ball on the ground, so that's something I need to work on. We were moving the ball fairly well. We had some missed opportunities that would have given us more yards. But overall, I think there were more better things than worse things. As an offense, we know what we need to improve on.

Is needing to take that next step a reflection of the youth of this team and still learning the system? Was it first-game rust, or are there some fundamentals that need to be cleared up?

AH: There are some fundamental issues. We had a couple of dumb penalties. Coach [Rich] Rodriguez always emphasizes no dumb penalties. We've learned Rod's system well enough. We've had a long time and had a good camp. I'm comfortable in it. Matt's comfortable in it. He took over the offense last Saturday. I think it's just some fundamental issues and mental mistakes. And that's something you can always fix.

Last year against Oklahoma State you had your season highs. What was it about that team that you were able to find success against that defense. I assume you want to have a similar game this week.

AH: Yes. I don't know if it was as much the other team as much as me just staying calm. That was my first start. I didn't know I was starting until right before the offense went on the field. It was kind of crazy. I feel like I was calm. I went out there and didn't think 'oh my gosh, it's Oklahoma State.' I just went out and played my game. I feel like that's what I need to do this Saturday. I can't be thinking that I played a good game last week or last year against them. It's a new game. It's like I've never played them before. I'll just go out and do the best I can.

So what you're saying is you didn't have time to panic last year?

AH: Haha. Yeah. Basically. I appreciated that the coaches did that, too. Because if they would have told me I was starting I would have probably been in the hotel thinking about [it] the night before.

Fill in the blank for me. At the end of the season, Arizona football will be...?

AH: Hmmm. Let me think of a good word. Arizona football will be relevant.

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